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If your partner dies without leaving a Will or a valid Will any assets that they leave behind are distributed under the rules of intestacy.

Married or civil partners will inherit under the rules of Intestacy only if they were actually married at the time of death. A divorce or dissolution of marriage from your former spouse will prohibit inheritance.

If there is no Will, property is then divided under the rules of intestacy and will be distributed depending on which family members the deceased has left behind, such as:

  • Married or civil partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Great grandchildren
  • Brother sisters
  • Nephews and nieces

If you are cohabiting with your partner, English Law does not recognise you as the "next of kin". Therefore if your partner dies and has not made a Will or does not leave a valid Will you would not be automatically entitled to a share of his/her estate unless you jointly owned property as joint tenants.

Contact Vina Lad, head of SC Law's family department for more information and or an initial consultation.


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